APTERR (The ASEAN plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve) is a regional cooperation standing on humanitarian ground with professional and business sense operation. This organization established under the purview of the ASEAN plus People’s Republic of China, Japan and Republic of Korea Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry to secure food security in an emergency caused by temporary and large scale calamity. National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Jason Laureano Y. Aquino, who headed the Philippine delegation to the APTERR meeting recently held in Bangkok, Thailand, reported that an agreement was reached to implement the Tier 1 program which will allow sales of rice between member countries of APTERR from the earmarked emergency rice reserve “Rice sales under Tier 1 are different from government to government deals because the sale must go through the approval of APTERR as a body and can only be availed of in cases of emergency and calamities,” Aquino explained.
Originally established as ASEAN Emergency Rice Reserve (AERR) in 1979, APTERR was organized in July 2012, to ensure rice availability during emergencies, stabilize the price of rice, and improve farmers’ income and welfare among the member countries. It aims to improve food security without distorting the international rice market. The total earmarked emergency rice reserve pledged by APTERR member countries is placed at 787,000 MT at present. The stocks are made available to member countries through three ways. First is the direct sale of rice between members, second is through emergency grants and loans and third way is by delivery of donated rice in times of acute emergency.